A Message from Balaji Raghothamachar

information from the Users' Executive Committee

Balaji Raghothamachar

Balaji Raghothamachar

Dear Fellow CFN Users:

The long, cold, snowy winter is finally over and spring is here! The warmer weather also means our annual NSLS-II/CFN Joint Users’ Meeting is just around the corner. Unfortunately, it also means that my term as Chair of the CFN UEC is also coming to an end as Nathalie Bouet will take over as chair after the Users’ Meeting in May. It has been an eventful term and I greatly appreciate this opportunity to serve the user community. 

2015 NSLS-II & CFN Joint Users' Meeting 

The CFN UEC, jointly with the NSLS-II UEC, will be hosting the annual NSLS-II/CFN Joint Users’ Meeting from May 18-20, 2015. The theme, “It’s Showtime,” will focus on the exciting new prospects of NSLS-ll and the continuing excellence of CFN. As always, the program includes invited talks, workshops, a poster session, and exhibits highlighting new technology and instrumentation—all offering opportunities to learn about the latest developments in synchrotron and nanoscience experimentation that can impact your own research. The meeting will be a great opportunity for users to interact with scientists from diverse disciplines that use the NSLS-ll and CFN facilities.

The plenary session on May 19 will feature Ben Lillie, co-founder and director of Story Collider as the keynote speaker. Story Collider will also provide the entertainment at the evening's annual banquet at the Suffolk Theater in Riverhead.

The CFN UEC has invited Theodore Moustakas from Boston University, who specializes in wide bandgap semiconductors, to give the plenary talk. The plenary session will also include updates from the U.S. Department of Energy, Brookhaven Lab, NSLS-II, and the CFN.

This year CFN users and staff are organizing a number of workshops in collaboration with NSLS-II. In fact, I shall be hosting a workshop on “Semiconductor Technology Development through Characterization by Synchrotron and Electron Microscopy Techniques” on May 20.

Your participation is key to the success of the meeting and I urge all users to attend the meeting and present their research at the poster sessions. The meeting will afford opportunities to network, share your research, and learn new technologies. The cost to attend the User's Meeting is $220 for regular attendees and $110 for students and postdocs.

Other meetings and symposia

CFN Assistant Director Jay Dickerson hosted a joint workshop on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Opportunities for Academia & High Tech Industry to showcase the capabilities, resources, and expertise available at the CFN on January 5, 2015. The meeting was well-attended by prospective users, both academic and industrial. We hope to increase our user base through such workshops regularly. Users are welcome to reach out to Jay and share ideas to expand the user base.

The National User Facility Organization (NUFO) meeting was held April 21-23, 2015, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Nathalie Bouet represented the CFN UEC at this meeting and will provide updates during the Joint Users’ Meeting. 

CFN operations

The CFN administration received the results of the 2013 DOE review last fall and overall the review was very positive. The scientific output, user satisfaction, and safety record all rated highly, with recommendations to expand the user base—particularly industrial users—and distinguish research activities from other nanocenters. Users are welcome to weigh in on these matters to the CFN Administration directly or through the UEC. 

Please note the new location for the Users’ Office is by the main entrance to the CFN on the first floor. CFN User Proposals will be moved to the PASS-II system and combined with the NSLS-II proposal system. Also continue to update your publication information on work performed at the CFN in the CFN Publications Database.

UEC matters

I am happy to see that the call for nominations to the UEC has had a good response. The election of officers to the UEC will be held just before the Users’ Meeting.  

The UEC held a User Townhall meeting on April 17, 2015. The next meeting will be on May 19, where we will have elections for the Vice Chair and Secretary from the newly elected UEC.  As Chair and Secretary for the past year, I can share my experiences with both positions for those who are interested.

As always, I encourage every CFN facility user to interact with the UEC and communicate your concerns so the UEC can be effective in improving the user experience. You can contact me or other UEC members by phone or email. Check our website for contact information and the latest updates from the UEC.

I look forward to meeting one and all at the Users’ Meeting in May. Wishing you all a successful run of experiments in the summer cycle at the CFN.

Balaji Raghothamachar
2014-15 UEC Chair

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